If the goal was the playoffs -- and it always was -- this year's New Orleans Saints are done.
Giants 52, Saints 27Check out the best photos from the Week 14 matchup between the Saints and Giants.
"That was an embarrassment today," Saints interim coach Joe Vitt told The Star-Ledger after the game. "... Here's the key, we can't have four turnovers in a game, especially on the road against a good football team. We can't allow them to have the returns that they had and score touchdowns on returns and have a chance to win on the road against a good football team."
Vitt has done a serviceable job in suspended coach Sean Payton's absence. One can argue the Saints would own a better record with Payton in the mix, but many of the problems that haunted New Orleans on Sunday are systemic issues that speak to an aging roster with deep flaws on defense.
"This was a pounding today," Vitt acknowledged.
It's been a rough year for the Saints and their fan base. The dream of playing a Super Bowl in The Big Easy was tarnished early by the ugliness of a scandal-filled offseason that gave way to the awkwardness of an interim-interim coach teeing off the season for an interim coach. None of them Payton. None of them able to do what Payton has done with Drew Brees and this once-unstoppable offense.
Everything about this year's Saints has felt convoluted and obscured by too many details having little to do with the game they play. Or tried to play.
Next year can't come soon enough.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.